There are three major businesses, beside the government house job and civil servants in Asaba, the capital of Delta state. Asaba is mainly a centre of administration unlike some cities that are heavy centres of commerce and industry.
Civil servants and politicians dominate Asaba. Other people in Asaba are businessmen from across the Niger, who do business in Onitsha but live in Asaba because of the congestion in Onitsha, the commercial hub of Anambra and the eastern states.
But besides these category of people, there are other thriving ventures from which people have made good financial breakthroughs. For the fact that job is scarce, many people behave ventured into church business.
Ordinarily, before becoming a pastor, one is supposed to be called by God but many today do not wait for God’s call but on their own open churches and become automatic pastors. To them, churches are business centres which people venture into to earn a living, having failed to secure jobs in the secular world. That is a mistake very much unknown to many.
In every street in Asaba, there are churches where people go for worship almost on daily basis, with Sunday being the general worship day. Every Sunday, all churches are packed full with people inside them. Pastors collect different kind of offerings with names attached to them. And within a few months or years, they are cruising towns in big cars to the amazement of people.
Another big business in Asaba is the business of schools. Schools litter every street in the state capitol. Every new session, new ones always spring up to compete with existing ones. These new ones give them strong competition in many ways. They collect lower fees to draw children from the existing ones. They are everywhere with different names.
The state government is allowing them because the owners are complementing the efforts of government in many ways. They create jobs for teeming unemployed people in the state. If one goes round the private schools in the city and compare the number of their employees with those in government schools, one will readily agree that the private schools are creating jobs for people.
Besides creating jobs for people, they are assisting in decongesting the public schools. If not for the existence of private schools, government would have been able to cope with the inflow of students into the public schools.
I once asked some students how many are they in the class. The private school students told me they are six in their class but the public school student said they are 110 in a single arm. One can now imagine that despite the existence of private schools, the public schools are still heavily populated.
The third thriving business is hotels. Asaba is gradually becoming a home of hotel business in Nigeria. In every part of the city, there are hotels dotting the town. New hotels are springing up in different parts of the city, drowning the presence of the old ones. Many of the old ones do no longer do no longer get mentioned when tourists visit the city for one business or the other.
Which other business do you know is making wave in Asaba? You can add it to the list.